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The Magic of Democracy and the People
History: Although some practitioners of Demourgy attempt to trace it back to classical Athens and early Republican Rome, this school is a child of the Enlightenment. The Demourgic tradition began in the late enlightenment in France and was invigorated by the success of the
America Revolution. It emerged as a actual tradition flush with victory
immediately following the French Revolution. Demourgists proudly marched with the armies of Revolutionary France to spread fraternity, liberty and equality across Europe. The order codified itself, deliberately choosing the title of Demourgy as a reflection of the Demiurge of Gnostic tradition to place themselves squarely in the materialist and anti-Christian side of the debate. However, their days of triumph were short lived, some fell to the Terror but the movement as a whole was shattered by Napoleon and its remnants either went underground or fled to England.
In England, the remaining Demourgists reformed their movement supporting various Radical movement both in England and across
the world. The failure of the Chartist movement was a great disappointment to the English Demourgists and they began to filter back across the continent in search of new causes to champion. By 1848, there were nearly 200 Demourgists across Europe, three years later there were sixteen. The Revolutions of 1848 made the Demourgists targets for the secret police of the Empires and
of France as well. This failure almost broke the tradition, but a few brave (or pig-headed) members continued the fight.
A few Demourgists tried to shape the Revolution in Russia towards democracy, but none of them are known to have escaped the
Cheka (though several managed to get out of Russia, they were assassinated), their papers survive. Demourgy experienced a resurgence following the Great War, riding the wave of interest in the Occult and opposition to war. The Depression and the rise of the Dictators ended what was hoped to be a second Golden Age of Demourgy. Many Demourgists perished in the Spanish Civil War
fighting against the Nationalists, indeed, Spain was nearly the graveyard of Demourgy.
(Option One: Spain was the graveyard of Demourgy, since 1938 Demourgic Magick simply does not work any more. This was the option used in the campaign that I was playing a Demourgist in.)
Again, a few brave souls survived and the tradition staggered along, only barely kept alive through the Second World War and its
aftermath. Decolonialism in the 1960s provided a rallying point for the
surviving Demourgists many of whom dispersed to the Third World to help build democracy, most were disappointed, many were killed, but they stayed on and the school began to grow again.
(Option Two: Demourgy is a dead school in the West, democracy has become so boringly routine in the First World that the passion that drives this school cannot be maintained. Only in the former Soviet Union, China and the Third World are the passions, and the stakes,
high enough to sustain Demourgists.)
Demourgy has found it difficult to survive in the modern world, viewed as archaic in the West (too "19th Century") and often seen as too Western everywhere else. Demourgy has yet to find its place in the modern world, though the anarchy of cyberspace and the opportunity
to create a new Athenian democracy (everyone votes on everything) with computer networks has appealed to some younger proto-Demourgists.
Theme: "Vox Populi, vox Dei." The voice of the eople is the voice of God.
The Demourgist or "Democrat" (rarely "Athenian") tries to harness the force of the people to promote the ideals of democracy.
(Sometime called derisively "vote-chasers" by the other traditions.) The Demourgist is in the uncomfortable position of having to be both slave and master of the democratic process, for the Demourgist gains their magic from assisting the democratic process and risks losing the same if they go against the will of the people.
The Demourgists are usually participants in the democratic process, politicians, lobbyists, reporters, political scientists, human rights campaigners and street agitators are all likely candidates. Areas without true democracy as likely as corridors of power in the First
World to spawn Demourgists.
The Demourgist must work to promote, support and participate in democracy in order to build charges, the more significant the
result towards building or maintaining democracy the greater the charges generated. But it must be genuine democracy, by allowing corruption, rigged elections or one-party politics to rule the Demourgist will be stripped of his or her charges. Now, as to the societal end the Demourgist seeks, that is immaterial as long as they are willing to use democracy to obtain it, there are anarchist, libertarian and socialist Demourgists.
Some Demourgists prefer the thrill and constant challenge of supporting democracy in the Third World. Gathering charges is
easier, and riskier, in the rough and tumble politics of the Third World where simply surviving from day-to-day can champion democracy. Others prefer the corridors of power in the self-proclaimed centers of democracy such as Brussels, London, Paris, Washington, D.C. or the United Nations where life can be both profitable and safe for a Demourgist.
The Demourgist must always remember that their powers are linked to democracy and the people, the purer the form of democracy
the closer they are to their source of power. This leads many Demourgists to support direct forms of democracy such as town meetings and referendums. Such tactics often find them in conflict with established political parties forcing Demourgists to the political fringe.
Definitions (for the Demourgist School):
Democracy (for the purpose of their taboo),
any system in which a majority of people vote in fair elections to create
their own government or ruling structure.
The People, the mass of humanity, voting and non, that make up a community.
Will of the People, as expressed by legitimate and fair elections. The Demourgist may ignore the dictates of imperfect democracy in their plans (and for their Taboo).
Demourgist Blast Style: Demourgists only have access to minor blast effects. The Demourgist channels the strength of the people adding it to their own, sometimes this causes strange visuals as the
images of the people the Demourgist is drawing strength from are momentarily overlaid on the caster.
Generate a Minor Charge: Contribute to building or maintaining democracy in a small way. Distribute pamphlets, vote in an
election, collect signatures, discuss politics at length, inspire others to
run for office. Local elected political officers (school board, city council,
usw) earn a Minor Charge a month (up to a Minor Charge a week for an important local office or a post in a major city).
Generate a Significant Charge: Make a major contribution
to democracy. Start a mass movement to support democracy, get fairly elected to a local political or union post, form a union, successfully spearhead revision of laws to improve voter access, get fairly elected to a state or national post in government. Being a major elected figure (mayor of a city, state senator, congressman, and so on) nets a Significant Charge a month, higher elected political office (Cabinet Minister, Speaker of the House, usw) is worth a Significant Charge a week, the highest elected offices (Prime Minister, President, usw) could be worth up to a Significant charge a day!
Generate a Major Charge: Incredible contributions to democracy. Bring democracy to those who have lived under tyranny, turn
the United Nations into a democratic world forum, be elected as a third-party candidate President of the United States.
Taboo: The Demourgist can never directly act against the people's will as expressed by legitimate democratic methods, even if it is leading to undemocratic ends. If the people fairly and freely choose
to elect a dictator, the Demourgist must stick with lawful political means
to oppose that change (until the dictator abandons any pretexts of democracy). If they do, they lose all charges. This taboo does not prevent a Demourgist from fighting a non-democratic government however they choose, from passive resistance to terrorism, it just that they can not use non-democratic methods to oppose a democratic regime.
Further, the Demourgist cannot allow corruption, vote fixing, one-party rule or other such perversions of the democratic process to exist unchallenged or they will lose their charges. Their power ties them
to a higher conception of democracy that must remain unsullied. For a Demourgist to abandon the high road of democracy is to abandon their power.
Random Magick Domain: Demourgy is the power of the people as an abstraction made real, it treats democracy as a living thing that can be harnessed. Demourgy focuses on channeling that power to reinforce
the democratic ideal.
Starting Charges: A new Demourgist starts with three minor charges, describe to the GM what your character has been doing to support democracy.
Demourgy Minor Formula Spells
Cestus Populi, Cestus Dei
Cost: 2 Minor Charges
Effect: This in the minor blast spell of the Demourgic school, by using this spell the Demourgist taps into the strength of the people and uses it to smite his opponent. When the spell is active the character is drawing on strength of people and occasionally the image of the people
drawn upon will be briefly overlaid on top of the caster (Rank 1 Unnatural check if witnessed).
The blast has no range and must be combined with a normal hand to hand attack (though it cannot be split between multiple opponents).
The damage from the spell adds to that of the hand to hand attack and can provide some spectacular special effects (like tossing the target across the room). At the GM discretion the spell may do extra damage against a target who is particularly hated by the people. The spell must be successfully cast before the attack is rolled and the effect remains until discharged or until three rounds have passed.
Coffee Black! / Work through the Night
Cost: 1 or more Minor Charges
Effect: By use of this spell, the Demourgist provides the needed
energy to keep working and stay alert for twenty-four hours without sleep or food for himself or others. This is usually used to keep working at vital moment in a campaign. Each extra charge allows an additional person to be effected.
This spell cannot be used on a person more than twice in any week. If cast twice on a person in one week it causes a Unnatural 2 stress check at the end of the second spell (they know something wrong happened to them but they cannot pin it down).
Get out the Vote
Cost: 1 or more Minor Charges
Effect: By use of this spell, the Demourgist inspires
people to become actively involved in the Democratic process. The spell must be cast in the week before the election or event that the Demourgist wishes the people to become involved in. The first charge spent will cause one person who would not have become involved to do so, and each additional charge spent will cause that to double (to 2, 4, 8, etc.).
Multiple casting of this spell are not cumulative for effect (i.e., if you cast it three times for two charges each time you get six additional voters [3x2] not thirty-two [2 to the 6th power] voters).
Cost: 2 Minor Charges
Effect: Functionally the same as the Cliomancy spell "Trivia" (UA2, p 122).
Cost: 1 Minor Charge
Effect: This effect makes the Demourgist's (or another person's, caster's choice) voice clearly audible to everyone within
25 meters. The effect lasts for the duration of a set speech or debate.
(Not terribly useful in an age of microphones, but it was once very useful
and can still be for impromptu speeches or debates.)
Cost: 3 Minor Charges
Effect: Takes one true statement made by a person on a political subject and immediately distributes it to that person's constituents.
Much like Gnostic Gossip, the people affected will remember having read the person's opinion somewhere, or seeing them on television, or having heard it from a trusted friend. In any case, they will accept the information as reliable.
The subject of the spell must be visible and their words audible to the Demourgist for the spell to be cast. It interesting side effect is that if the statement this spell was cast upon is not the true belief of the subject that information will be broadcast instead (that they do not really believe what they said, not their true position).
Press the Flesh
Cost: 1 Minor Charge
Effect: This makes the caster more comfortable and social towards a group in any non-confrontational social setting. The casting receives a +5% to all social interaction skills (+10% if the group was already inclined to be friendly towards you) for six hours or until you
leave the area that the group has gathered (which may be as large as a convention center or theme park or as small as a smoke-filled room). If the spell was canceled by leaving the area of effect, it can be instantly reinstated on the return of the caster by the expenditure of another Minor Charge.
Cost: 1 Minor Charge
Effect: With this spell, the Demourgist can put their own "spin" on an event or statement that will then spread by word of mouth and be considered as reliable, but it must be spread from the Demourgist
out spreading like ripples on a pond. Demourgists usually use this spell to counter the "spin" put on things by their political opponents. The Demourgist cannot use this spell to disseminate information they know to be false.
This spell is often used by Demourgists when they get the chance to speak on radio or television as it gives the initial ripple a big boost.
Demourgy Significant Formula Spells
Don't Just Stand There, Do Something!
Cost: 2 Significant Charges
Effect: This spell inspires a group of people who have no clear direction with the need to take action. The Demourgist's roll is the minimum number (or the minimum percentage if less that a hundred
people) who are inspired to take immediate action. The Demourgist should provide this action either by example or speech or the first idea that comes to the group will be the one that they follow. The action can be only of limited duration ("Defend the barricades!") and once inspired, the actions taken by the mob can quickly spiral out of the Demourgist's control.
Cost: 1 Significant Charge
Effect: This spell cool tempers so that problems
can be discussed. As long as no blood has been drawn (a punch or two can be dealt with), the effected people calm down and are willing to continue to talk, though they will still be tense and jumpy. This spell allows for a second chance to resolve conflicts before they spin totally out of control.
Cost: 2 Significant Charges
Effect: This spell can only be cast when the adept is in legitimate fear for his life and it prevents attacks on or violence against the adept long enough for one final statement of no more than two minutes duration. While this spell is in effect, the adapt may take no action other than speaking (no trying to escape). The adept words will be clearly
remembered by his listeners, even though they may wish that was not so. (If you are casting this spell, you might as well stack it with Hear Me and Position Statement, those charges are not going to be worth anything once you are dead.)
Usually, the adept get off his final speech and then dies a horrible death. But the speech can be interrupted, but there should be an overriding reason to interrupt the speech. Anyone who wishes
to attack the adapt while they are under the protection afforded by this spell must make both a successful Mind and Soul check to do so, but they can only try once. However, once someone has successfully attacked the adept, further attacks by other people only require that the attacker makes a Soul check to be able to attack (though if they tried earlier to attack and failed they do not get a second try).
Sic Semper Tyrannus
Cost: 4 Significant Charges
Effect: This can only affect people who have through their own admission or by the judgement of the people be considered an enemy
of the people. The next number of rolls equal to the number in the tens
spot of the spell success (i.e., a '47' would result in the next four rolls
of the victim being affected) made by the target, or those acting directly
for him (such as bodyguards or pilots), that oppose the will of the people are flip-flopped to their worst possible result. Further, natural failures are treated as matched failures, and natural matched failures become fumbles.
Some people believe that the air crash that killed General Sanjurjo (the original leader of the Nationalists in the Spanish CivilWar) was caused by this spell.
Demourgy Major Effects: Overthrow a tyrannical government with a democratic revolution, get a third party elected to control of the US Government, get worldwide support for turning the UN a democratic